The new year brings with it a fresh start. As the year begins, I find it helpful to check in with my daily habits and commit to incorporating Ayurvedic rituals that are nourishing to the body and mind. I’ve listed my three favorite Ayurvedic daily rituals below. These are all relatively inexpensive and not time-consuming. These rituals will enhance your day, rather than taking time away from you.
I recommend starting the day by scraping your tongue. The benefits of using a tongue cleaner include helping to fight cavities by removing bacteria from the mouth, reducing excess mucus from your mouth, reducing cravings and allowing you to more fully taste your food. Ayurvedic tradition believes those who use tongue cleaners are more expressive and thoughtful, better speakers and conversationalists. Tongue scraping is simple and takes less than a minute. Scrape down from the back to the front of the surface of the tongue 2-3 times, then rinse off your scraper to clean off mucus. I like the copper tongue scraper by Paavani Ayurveda.
This wellness practice takes less than five minutes a day, costs nothing, and helps cleanse your body inside and out! Your skin, the largest organ of the human body, is an organ of elimination. A third of your body’s toxins are excreted through the skin. Dry brushing helps to unclog pore and excrete toxins that become trapped in the skin. Benefits of dry brushing include exfoliating the skin, stimulating circulation, boosting the immune system and helping digestion.
To dry brush, purchase a natural bristle brush (many available on amazon). Get naked and stand in your bathtub before a shower. Begin brushing by starting at your feet, in short strokes going towards your heart, brushing several times in each area and overlapping as you go. This is usually done before you shower
Ayurvedic Self-Oil Massage
Self-massage is one of the ultimate self-care practices and by far my favorite Ayurvedic ritual. Everyone that I recommend it to loves it! By massaging your own body you are consistently increasing circulation, deeply restoring the nervous system, lubricating the joints, softening the skin, and breaking up toxins and fat that could be sitting stagnant. Living in Colorado, I hear many people complaining of dry skin with our dry climate – this practice is very helpful to nourish and moisturize the skin.
Self-oil massage is easy – I usually do this before a shower (after dry brushing). In the winter months, sesame oil is best because it is warming. In the summer months coconut oil is best because it is cooling. Paavani Ayurveda makes a great oil that works for all seasons. Warm your oil by either running your bottle under hot water or rubbing a few times between your hands. Take the oil and generously coat your skin. Starting with your extremities, work the oil into your skin, using strong, vigorous strokes towards the heart. Wait 10 minutes and then shower, which helps the oil absorb more fully into the skin. Then lightly towel off – you’ll want to designate a special towel for this as the towel will get a little rough from the excess oils over time.
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